I saw Blinded by the Light last night at a special “Fan Event” premiere. (The movie officially opens tomorrow night). While I don’t think this movie will win any Academy Awards (at least in the major categories), it was a lot of fun to watch. Blinded by the Light is the very definition of a “feel good movie.”
The film explores the tensions between the Old World and the New World through the life of Javed Khan, a sixteen-year-old Pakistani boy in Margaret Thatcher’s England. Javed wants to become a writer. He feels oppressed by the traditions of his Pakistani home and his authoritarian father who is struggling to provide for his family during a period of recession.
This is all a pretty standard story line for immigrant movies until Javed encounters (through a Sikh friend) the music of Bruce Springsteen. (He listens to Born in the USA and The River on cassette via his Walkman). Springsteen speaks directly to Javed’s circumstances, but in the end Javed also realizes that the sense of longing and ambition in the Boss’s music must be balanced with roots, tradition and place.
The script is corny at times, and the plot is a pretty tired one, but the characters (especially Javed’s father) are very likable and the Springsteen soundtrack is worth the price of a ticket. If you are Bruce fan, you will leave the theater with a smile on your face!